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How To Care For Trachyandra Tortilis

Trachyandra Tortilis via Instagram

If you are an exotic rare plant collector who enjoys uniquely shaped plants, then we have a succulent for you! The Trachyandra Tortilis is a stunning succulent from Madagascar and South Africa. It has a long lifespan and looks like something out of a fairytale!

In this article, we will tell you how to care for this rare jewel in the plant community. We advise you on how to successfully grow it from a seed, propagate it, and more. And if you have trouble pronouncing its name, do not worry- we have you covered on that too!

How to Pronounce Trachyandra Tortilis

Before we get to the care instructions, let us get to the information you probably really want to know- how to pronounce this plant’s name!

It is a mouthful, we know, but thankfully, once we broke it down phonetically, it is easy to say. The pronunciation for Trachyandra Tortllis is TRAY-kee-andra tor-til-is. If you still find it to be a mouthful, we recommend calling it the Ribbon Plant to make life easier, as we will be doing throughout the article.

via Instagram

Caring for Your Trachyandra Tortilis

So now that we know how to say its name, it is time to learn how to care for it! If you are starting your plant care journey, then we do not recommend this plant for you.

The Trachyandra Tortilis is very much a plant for those who are well-versed in caring for plants. And if you properly care for it, this plant baby can live for generations, meaning you might be able to one day pass it on to your grandchildren!

So if you are a plant care expert, we hope you find this care guide helpful!

Light

The gorgeous ribbon plant is a member of the succulent family, so it enjoys sunlight! To keep this rare beauty happy, place it in a spot where it can get 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight daily.

Direct sunlight is harmful to the ribbon plant. This beauty has delicate leaves that will burn in direct sunlight. So if you ever notice black spots on the plant, immediately move it to another area of your home. Black spots indicate that the sun’s rays have harmed your plant baby. 

Placing this beauty on a windowsill is an excellent option as most windowsills get bright, indirect sunlight.

Relative Humidity

The Trachyandra Tortillis is not tolerant of high humidity levels. In fact, high humidity levels can severely damage this plant’s root system! To keep this plant baby happy, keep the humidity level around 50% and ensure it has plenty of room to breathe!

So we do not recommend grouping this plant with others or keeping it in a high humidity environment or room. 

via Instagram

Water

The Trachyandra Tortillis is a member of the succulent family, which means it does not need water often to thrive. However, all plants are different and respond differently to their conditions, so it helps to know your plant.

The general rule of thumb for watering this beauty is to water it every two weeks in the spring and fall. During the summer, which is its time of dormancy, you can get away with watering this beauty once or twice a month. 

However, some plant owners have found that watering it once a week works best for them. So as we mentioned above, get to know your plant’s watering preferences and follow that to keep them happy and growing!

It would be best if you waited for the soil to dry before watering the Trachyandra Tortillis again. Overwatering this plant can lead to root damage, which will eventually kill your plant.

Temperatures

Not only does this plant hate high humidity, but it also hates high temperatures! The ideal temperature for keeping this rare beauty happy is 41 to 59 degrees. So if possible, keep it in the coldest room of your home where it will also get adequate sunlight.

Soil

The Trachyandra Tortillis must be surrounded by well-draining soil with good air circulation. The ribbon plant is not a plant that can tolerate excessive watering or overly wet soil. Leaving this plant floating in a pot of excess water and damp soil will only kill it faster than any pest ever could.

We recommend using a succulent potting mix to give your plant its best chance at staying watered appropriately. We also recommend using moss, perlite, and sand in the mixture (if the potting mix does not already have them).

The three ingredients we mentioned are an excellent way to promote airflow through your soil and also help keep your plant adequately watered and prevent it from becoming waterlogged.

The Trachyandra Tortilis also grows well in riverbeds and quartz patches, so if you are looking for a plant to add to your plant rock garden, this is an excellent choice!

Fertilizer

If fertilizing your plants is not one of your favorite plant chores, then you are in luck- this plant does not require much fertilizing! 

To promote healthy growth, you can fertilize this rare plant once to twice a year, and that it is it! Some plant owners might do more depending on their plant, but one to two is the bare minimum.

However, if you have recently repotted your ribbon plant, you should fertilize it to ensure it has the nutrients it needs to thrive in its new pot. 

When fertilizing this plant, only use a small amount of half-strength fertilizer during winter. Do not fertilize this plant during any other season besides winter, as winter is its peak growing period, and that is when it will need additional nutrients and support.

Propagating the Trachyandra Tortilis 

There are two ways to propagate this plant- from seed and leaf cuttings. Not sure which method you would prefer? Let us take a step-by-step look at both!

via Instagram

Propagating the Trachyandra Tortillis From a Seed

If you are propagating the ribbon plant from a seed, we commend you on having the patience to do so. Where some plants might grow in a few months, this plant can take up to three years to grow from seed!

If you are a part of the patient few to propagate this plant baby for the impatient mass, then here are some tips on how to grow this lovely plant successfully:

  1. Plant the seeds in small pots at least 2-3 inches deep with the seeding soil of your choice.
  2. Bury larger seeds about ⅓ of an inch deep into the soil. Sprinkle the smaller seeds on top of the soil.
  3. Moisten the soil and cover it with plastic to maintain high humidity. However, if you are against using plastic to protect the soil, spray the soil when ⅔ of it becomes dry. Always ensure the soil is moist and never soggy.
  4. Keep pots in bright, indirect sunlight for 6-10 hours daily. If using grow lights, keep them under the grow light for 12 hours, then give the seedlings 8 to 10 hours of rest.
  5. You can uncover the pots when you see the plant starting to shoot up.
  6. When the ribbon plant reaches five inches, it is time to repot.
  7. Wait about one year to see this beautiful plant grow into its unique shape.

Propagating the Trachyandra Tortilis From Leaf Cuttings

If you do not have the patience to wait for this plant to grow from a seed, we understand as three years is a long time!

If you are looking for a faster propagation method, then leaf cuttings are your option.

Here are the steps to propagating the ribbon plant from a leaf cutting:

  1. Using sterile scissors, cut the leaf from the plant. Note: Never use a knife when cutting this plant, as a knife can cause damage to the plant.
  2. Let the leaf callus for four or five days.
  3. Plant the leaf in well-draining soil.
  4. Water soil when it dries out.
  5. Once the cutting is ready, repot it.

For both propagation methods, we recommend propagating your plant somewhere between the middle of fall and the middle of winter.

The Trachyandra Tortilis Flower

One of the most featured parts of this plant is the flowers it grows. These beautiful flowers grow from late winter to early spring, so keep an eye on the seasons, so you do not miss them blooming!

The flowers on the Trachyandra Tortillis are small and pink with a green pattern. They grow to about four to five centimeters. They bloom on spiked branches and live for a day or less.

Yes, you read that right- these tiny pink flowers only last for a day or less. So if you want to see them, keep a watchful eye on the seasons and your plant!

Is Trachyandra Tortilis Poisonous? 

Some succulents are toxic to people and animals, so before bringing in a new succulent, always check to ensure the safety of it for you and your fur babies.

However, this is one succulent that you do not have to be concerned about! The Trachyandra Tortillis is not poisonous to you or your pets. However, we still recommend some level of caution with this plant.

The Trachyandra Tortillis has juices to which some plant owners have reported having an allergic reaction to. So if you are ever handling this plant and notice your skin becoming red, put down the plant and wash your hands, as this is a sign of an allergic reaction! From there on out, wear gloves when handling this plant.

Conclusion

The Trachyandra Tortillis is a rare plant that can last for generations if properly cared for. Its unique shape and blooming flowers make it a prized jewel in any plant collector’s collection! So if you can and have the experience, we highly recommend adding one of these plant babies to your plant family.

Where to Buy Trachyandra Tortilis

As of posting this article there is one seller on Etsy who has it for sale. The other place I see online that has them for sale is on eBay at the time of posting this article. There were 3 listings for Trachyandra Tortilis. The other place you can try to buy them from are people on Instagram who post pictures and can sell them to you. I hope you enjoyed this article and find the plant you are looking for. Happy Gardening!

Here is a short video on 10 Fascinating Facts About Trachyandra Tortilis | Fun Facts | Weird but True

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